I nearly gave up the hobby in favor of, say, knitting.
– John Haines
A View from a Tree
This is another painting of my muse, Linda Nicole, now an attorney working for a Panamanian government agency. I got the idea from a TV program I saw on TVE about thanksgiving which featured the Madrid School of Realism. Talk about a humbling experience! Five young guys and one girl, all of whom could paint so beautifully that I nearly gave up the hobby in favor of, say, knitting. One of the guys painted the same elderly male model from a bunch of different perspectives. Enjoy with . All were great, but one–in which it appeared he was looking down on his subject who was standing in the street below–was so striking that I resolved not to give up painting until I had at least tried something similar. So I photographed Linda Nicole from approximately the same perspective and worked from there.
My thought was that she had been lying in the grass reading a storybook when she was distracted by a noise or a movement above her, perhaps in a tree. When she got up to investigate, she saw something–a squirrel, a bird, maybe even an iguana–high up in the branches. So, the viewer is looking down on her as she peers up into the branches, the book–momentarily forgotten–laying open in the grass behind her.
A lovely day, enjoyed by all of us.
Back in 1978, our whole family jumped on the early train and went to Colon for the day. As I recall, we walked up and down Front Street visiting the amazing Bazaar Francés, and most of the other stores on those picturesque few blocks. Later, we had lunch at the Washington Hotel and came home on the afternoon train. A lovely day, enjoyed by all of us.
This painting is based upon a photo I took of our youngest son, Johnny, then about 6 and sporting a brand new watch, as he was eyeing a hat in Aldao’s. (I’m not sure whether that discoloration on the bottom of the L on the sign was rust or paint, but it was there, and I included it in the painting just in case the store owner or his descendents ever sees the thing!) The sketch was partially an exercise in mechanical drawing –the vanishing point falling just above the right clavicle of that old gentleman walking towards us by the pillars. But, following my Dad’s admonition against using a straight edge in a painting, drawing the lettering and all of the brushwork were done freehand.
Guna Kid with Friend
This painting was done on commission and based on a photograph taken by the customer. What intrigued me about the photo was the level of detail that would have to be achieved if the painting was to be a success. Also, the wide range of colors and the lights and shadows were wonderful. The canvas was a big one for me, about 30×40 inches. I think it turned out well, and I am happy to report that the customer, too, was very pleased.
This is a Los Angeles class nuclear submarine operating off the coast of Greece. It was done for the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation, the non-profit organization that funds college scholarships for the children of members of the US Navy’s submarine forces. (More precise information concering this group and scholarship elegibility requirements can be found at www.dolphinscholarship.org.)